Date: 25 November 2035
Emma growled as reached up and scratched at the blond wig. She felt ridicules, with her fake tan, fake hair, fake eyes, stupid glasses, stupid dress, stupid-
“Stop it,” Wesley said from next to her. Frowning, she reached up and touched her glasses. The see-through glass had been specially designed for her light sensitive eyes, but she still didn’t like them. She was used to her sunglasses; these ones made her feel too exposed. Unfortunately, her sunglasses were too easily recognized because of the stupid gossip magazines.
“Don’t touch that,” Wesley told her again as he looked around the ball room. Somehow, Wesley got them invited to the Black Gold Casino’s pre-sailing party for their cruise liner. All around them was rich people. Now, Emma’s family was comfortably middle class, but these people were rich. As in: Let’s-waist-our-money-on-stupid-things. That kind of rich.
“This is stupid,” Emma muttered. Wesley was about to answer when someone came closer. Emma didn’t recognize them.
“Aa, Mr Price, it’s a complete honour to have you here,” their host, Sebastian Gold, said, grinning.
“I wasn’t planning on coming,” Wesley said coldly, not even looking at the man. Mr Gold winced before glaring. Wesley probably felt it, because he turned to the man. Immediately the man’s face shifted into a pleasant grin.
“Then may I ask why you did,” the man asked, obviously trying to control his anger.
“Blame Julia,” Wesley said. Emma was about to look around when she remembered that she was Julia. Forcing herself to giggle, she held out her hand.
“A pleasure Mr Gold,” she said with a false high voice. The man just looked at her, not taking her hand.
“Who are you?” he asked rudely. Before Emma could answer, Wesley interrupted.
“My date,” he hissed through his teeth, using the hand on her waist to pull her closer. Mr Gold immediately started falling all over himself as he tried to say sorry.
“A pleasure, madam,” he said, looking at Wesley as he kissed her gloved hand.
“My deepest apologies Mr Price, I was under the impression you were involved with the…young Miss Emmalyn Knight,” Mr Gold said, leering at Wesley. Mr Gold smirked, like he was trying to insult Wesley, but Wesley turned to him and looked him straight in the eye.
“Mr Gold. I don’t think much of you. In fact I think less than nothing of you. However, now that I know that you believe pre-teen gossip magazines, I have, miraculously, lowered my expectations of you. You are arrogant, irritating and if by some miracle you drop dead at this very moment I wouldn’t even care enough to be happy about it. Now, leave and never speak to me again. And if by luck I forget about you by the end of this night, be thankful, because if I do remember you, I will destroy you,” Wesley said to him loudly, not caring who heard him.
Mr Gold was paled and looked like he was about to say something before changing his mind and running off. Around them, people started crimping into themselves while trying their best to shuffle away from Wesley and Emma. Emma, however, wasn’t sure if she should be mortified. Although, she did have the unnatural response of trying not to laugh. Why, she wasn’t sure. She did, nevertheless, push her face into Wesley’s chest (even though it made him scowl), hiding her response from everyone.
“Cute Wesley,” she said softly as she felt his relax slightly. Again Wesley didn’t have a chance to respond.
“Mr Price. Finally we meet,” a voice said. Emma could feel Wesley tense; then again, he could probably feel her tense as well. She knew that voice. She had spent too many nights at Diamond Dust to not know it. Looking up she saw him.
Nathan Yelrood. The Wizard of Emerald City.
Dorathy mentally cringed as yet another woman came over to complement her dress. That was all people ever talked to her about. Her clothes, or her hair, or her skin, or how pretty she was or what a good daughter she was or how she will make a man very happy one day. It made her sick.
She never liked appearing in those stupid magazines. The only reason she did it was because she needed people to underestimate her. She was her father’s daughter after all.
Sighing she tucked her brown hair behind her ear. Frowning she looked at her olive skin tone. Maybe she should go to spray tanned to a lighter tone. It’s been a while since she’s done th-
Dorathy jumped slightly as a dark shadow covered her, only to find her father standing next to her. She smiled at the large dark tanned man, easily the largest (in both height and stature) in the room. He frowned at her, not because she was a disappointment, but because he knew what she was thinking about. That thing, stranger, creature, demon-
The Nightmare. Her nightmare.
“Are you alright, my little jewel?” he asked her in his ruff voice. She took hold of his arm, standing as close as she could to him.
“I’m fine daddy. I just don’t want to be here. Everyone is so stupid,” she told him. Her father ‘hm’ed in agreement.
“I know sugar plum. But that bastard Price is here tonight, and after what his little bitch did… I want a word with him,” Nathan said. Dorathy frowned.
“Daddy. You need to be careful. You can’t just-“
“I can and I will,” he said to her, glaring. The only time her father was angry with her is when she insisted that he couldn’t do something.
“Yes daddy,” she said, not looking at him. He bent down and kissed her head, whispering in her ear, “Our contract still stands. They will take care of it. And our ally already informed them he will be here. All I have to do is distract him.”
Dorathy smiled, her eyes searching out Prince. She didn’t need to, however. They heard him, before they could see him. Then again, everyone heard him. It amazed her sometimes that people didn’t call NIC Corp workers and their CEOs the mob. They weren’t all that different from how her family operated. There Price was, saying all those things, but no one would report him. Because they were too scared.
Holding onto her father, they walked towards him. Dorathy was surprised to see a blond woman with him, comfortable enough to actually hide her face in his chest. Looking at her, Dorathy had to admit she was very fashionable, even with her sleeved dress.
“Mr Price. Finally we meet,” her father said. The woman looked up, staring at her father in slight fear, before schooling her face into a blank mask.
“Mr Yelrood,” he said, sounding like he didn’t want them around. Of course, from what Dorathy knew about the man, he didn’t like a lot of people, if not everyone.
“How’s your pet,” Nathan asked. Price raised an eyebrow, his face set.
“I should think the question would be, how’s yours? After all, if anyone knew about your pets you’d be arrested,” Price said. Dorathy felt her father tense. No one was supposed to know about the mutations, not yet. Oh, some people knew, but they wouldn’t tell. Not unless they themselves want to join Yelrood family pets. But how did Price know?
“And what about Mr Felix. I heard he got new stationary,” her father countered, actually making Price growl. Who knew he had it in him?
“I don’t believe that is any of your business. Especially since you like copying people,” Price hissed at them, making her father smirk. His eyes then drifted to the woman in the other man’s arms. Dorathy also looked at her. She was staring of into a distance, like she was looking at something, but Dorathy couldn’t see anything. She was also glaring at whatever she was looking at.
“And who’s this,” her father asked. Price shoved her slightly, bringing her attention back to things that were real. She blinked several times, before staring at them.
“What did you say?” her voice light, no, dazed.
“Who, are you?” Nathan asked again, obviously annoyed that he had to repeat himself.
“Oh, I’m Julia. It’s nice to meet you,” she said, holding out her hand, only for it to be pulled back by Price. Nathan chuckled.
“I’m Nathan Yelrood. And this is my daughter, Dorathy,” he said.
“It’s very nice to meet you,” Julia said, although her face looked strained. Not that Dorathy was surprised. While there was no evidential proof of Emerald City’s less than legal dealings, everyone knew about it. Thus, everyone was careful when it came to her family.
Julia looked at her, and Dorathy saw recognition in her eyes. Have they met? No, she probably saw her in Glim- Why did she just roll her shoulder? Why does she look afraid of her? Most people didn’t see her as a threat. Something she preferred, but this woman… it’s like she knew just what she was capable of.
“Is that it?” her father asked suddenly, glaring at Julia, “Is there nothing else you wish to say to my daughter?”
“Is there anything I’m supposed to say?” she asked with well hidden spite. Her father growled, detached himself from her and looked like he was about to attack the woman. Price let go of Julia, stepping in front of her. Dorathy grabbed her father’s arm as she looked at the men, surprised that Price was actually brave enough to stand in the way.
“Daddy stop!” Dorathy said before looking at the other woman, “I think I like Mr Price’s escort.”
The woman blushed. Her red face clashing terribly with her blond hair. Price, on the other hand, had taken to glaring at her. In fact, Price had been glaring at her since the four of them met up. Dorathy wasn’t sure what she did to make the powerful man dislike her (more like hate then dislike really), but whatever she did must have been bad.
Her father laughed, but stepped back, leering at the woman. Price growled, looked her father right in the eye and said, “She’s not an escort.”
“Whether or not I’m an escort doesn’t matter. I don’t like being talked about as though I’m not here. Now. I’ve pretty much had enough of this… testosterone battle. So if you don’t mind, and I honestly don’t care if you do, I need to visit the ladies room,” Julia said, turning around and walking off. Price didn’t turn to her. He did, however, walk past her father and left, not caring if he was being rude.
“Now, now daddy. Remember your blood pressure,” Dorathy said, still looking at Julia, “Price will meet his end soon. I, however, need to go to the ladies room as well,” Dorathy said. Her father looked at her as a slow, cruel, and malicious smile crept onto his face.
“Don’t forget to hide the body,” he said, kissing her on the head.
“Hush!” she said and followed after Price’s escort.
The cruise liner’s bathroom was beautiful. It had a seating area as well as soft music playing in the background. The mirror stretched from one end of the wall to the other. And the room was highly decorated in shining metals.
Julia was washing her hands when she came in. She saw Dorathy quickly enough through the mirrors. She spun around, her body tense and her eyes narrowed behind her glasses. She rolled her shoulder again, causing the fabric to fall slightly, but not enough to expose her shoulder.
“Miss Yelrood. Can I help you with something?” she asked politely.
“Not really, just wanted to talk to Price’s escort without men to be of a bother.”
“I’m not an escort.”
“Then why else did Price bring you?” Dorathy asked. The woman’s eyes widen before looking at the floor, “Oh dear. You didn’t actually think Price cared for you did you?”
“You don’t know-“
“I know a lot more then you think. I’ve seen him drag around dozen of women before and they are never seen again. Wesley Price isn’t a good man. Trust me; there are things about him… Has he ever told you what happened to his mother, what he did to his father?” Dorathy asked as she walked closer to Julia, “Has he ever shown you the pictures of people he’s removed? Had he ever told you what has happened to people who’ve upset him? Has he ever told you why he and Felix are, not friends, but work together? Have you ever seen him give an interview? Have you ever seen him. Snap. A. Man’s. Neck?”
Dorathy was right in front of her. She looked down at the young woman that had taken to glaring at her. Julia looked at her, her eyes hard, like she didn’t believe anything she said. Dorathy smiled at her, making the girl tense.
Dorathy backed away as a voice came through the door.
“Miss Dora? Are you done? You’re father wants you back in the Ball Room.”
“Coming Tin!” Dorathy called, still looking at the glaring woman. She opened the door to reveal a tall man. He looked soft, gentle, like he wouldn’t hurt a fly. In fact, the only thing about him that would unnerve anyone was his robotic eyes.
“You’re wrong,” Julia said. Dorathy looked back at her, smiling. Her smile fell however, when Julia rolled her shoulder again, causing the fabric to fall completely, exposing her gunshot scar. Dorathy felt her body freeze as she watched the shadows move. Move towards the woman, her face hidden behind her hair. She stepped back, the shadows welcoming her.
Dorathy never saw what happened to her. She slipped out of the bathroom, shutting the door as she felt her breath quicken. Her vision blurred and her heart ‘thumped’ in her chest.
“Miss Dora? Are you alright?” Tin asked. Dorathy didn’t answer as the darkness closed around her.